I hope you enjoy visiting my online galleries! Please feel free to contact me at jjmerz@yahoo.com


My creative process begins with energetic rough sketches torn from brown paper and develops into intricate, colorfully-designed, tactile images.

I’m pleased that my first picture book, That Dancin’ Dolly, (Dutton) received the IRA/CBC Children’s Choice Award.  I’m also proud that my second book, Playground Day!, (Clarion) fought its way through the slush pile to achieve publication.

My aim as an illustrator is to create pictures that tell stories and express emotion, marrying content with good design.  As a collage artist, I enjoy mixing media of all kinds to achieve my visual goals.

I enjoy doing author visits, and have created an interactive children’s presentation called From Brown Bag to Picture Book.  It details how a picture book grows from idea to finished book.   I also offer private workshops for adults on Creating Children’s Books, and have written a syllabus and related book on The Art of Collage in Children’s Book Illustration. Please contact me for details on any of these presentations. I will work with you to create a presentation tailored to your needs.

In May 2014, I received a Master of Fine Arts Degree in Illustration from
the Fashion Institute of Technology, NY.  I also hold a BA in Studio Art
and Elementary Ed, and an MA in Art Education.

I am a member of SCBWI, the Author’s Guild, the Graphic Artist’s Guild,
and C-BIG.

When I am not working, I enjoy books, world-wide travel,
jazz and classical music, museum visits,
and spending time with family and friends.
I also maintain an active blog (above).

Questions or comments? Contact me at jjmerz@yahoo.com.
I look forward to hearing from you!